Woman Balks When Sister Demands Family Watch Twins for Free, Give Her Money

Commenters were in disbelief after one woman detailed her sister's demand that their family members all provide free child care and financial assistance in a popular internet forum.

In a Reddit post published on r/AmITheA**hole, Redditor u/lecm234 explained her decision not to help her sister, and asked the subreddit's 3.6 million members if she was wrong to refuse the lofty demands. Titled, "AITA for refusing to babysit for my sister?" the post has received 7,200 votes and 1,400 comments.

Writing that her 32-year-old sister gave birth to twins ten months ago, u/lecm234 said that during a recent gathering, she and her family were informed that they would be babysitting the pair of infants and helping with the costs of raising multiple children.

"My sister announced she would be returning to work in two weeks so they were gonna need everyone to chip in and babysit and to help out financially," she wrote. "I was shocked when I heard this because it sounded a bit ridiculous that they expected everyone to babysit their kids for free and to give them money for their debts."

As each of the original poster's family members volunteered their time and money, u/lecm234 said there was no way she could contribute to her sister's children.

"I'm a full time college student and I have a part time job at a bakery so I really have no time or cash to spare," she wrote.

The Redditor's sister, however, saw the situation differently.

"She said she thought I could do the most hours since I was only in college and didn't have any serious commitments," u/lecm234 wrote. "Her whole attitude kind of annoyed me and I told [her] I wasn't going to be babysitting her kids or going to chip in money wise and that it was her decision to have kids so it's her responsibility."

Family argument
One Redditor said she upset her family when she refused to babysit her sister's 10-month-old twins. AntonioGuillem/iStock / Getty Images Plus

Last year, skyrocketing costs and COVID-related restrictions made finding childcare much more difficult for families in the United States.

In 2021, 72 percent of families reported increasing childcare costs, and 46 percent reported having trouble finding proper childcare, according to Care's 2021 Cost of Care Survey. 85 percent of parents also reported spending more than 10 percent of their household income on child care, a 13 percent jump from 2020.

Babysitting rates, like many daycares and nanny services, saw a huge increase in 2021. Outpacing a historic, 7 percent spike in inflation rates, the average cost to hire a babysitter rose 11 percent from 2020 to 2021, according to Urban Sitter. Babysitting rates rose just 3.9 percent from 2019 to 2020.

While babysitting rates vary dramatically across cities and states, Urban Sitter's 2022 Cost of Caregiving survey revealed that the national average babysitting rate for one child is $20.57 per hour, and $23.25 per hour for two.

Although millions of families across the country rely on babysitters, many parents look to their relatives for low cost, or free childcare. BabyCenter, an online parenting magazine, reported that more than 50 percent of children in the U.S. are cared for by a relative while parents work.

Despite the prevalence of relative care, relying solely on family members for childcare can have drawbacks, including disagreements about parenting style and compensation—or lack thereof.

In her original Reddit post, u/lecm234 said her family was furious when she refused to babysit her sister's children, but stood firm in her decision.

"My mom said that in our family we take care of each other," she wrote. "My family is still pissed at me and my parents are demanding I not only apologize to [my sister] but write them a check to help them out."

"I have like $70 in my bank account so that's not gonna happen," she added.

Throughout the comment section of the viral Reddit post, users responding to u/lecm234 assured the 19-year-old she was not wrong to refuse her sister's demands, and questioned the motive behind such lofty expectations.

"What they are asking for is ridiculous," one Redditor wrote in the post's top comment, which has received nearly 10,000 votes.

"Them expecting you to do more because you're in college is just absurd," they added.

Redditor u/kokihi_55, whose comment has received more than 2,000 votes, said the original poster could offer to babysit occasionally, but maintained that her sister's requests were unrealistic.

"Their behavior is entitled as hell," they wrote. "Maybe offer that in the future you might be able to babysit if your schedule opens up...but right now it's a no."